Saturday, January 31, 2015

Entering a New Year

It's the end of January 2015 and I've had a month to begin working on achieving my goals for the year.  The reality is that January 1 is just another day but for many if not most people the changing of the calendar holds the potential for new beginnings.  Though we're entering the meat of our third winter here, it wasn't until recently that I had an epiphany.  It wasn't something that is going to change the world but it could perhaps change the lives of myself and that of my family.  Seeing as how that is my world, it's indeed important to me.  What was this epiphany you ask?  That a resolution/goal without a plan isn't worth a damn.  I can make all the goals I want but if I have not planned out how to achieve them, they're going to go down in flames just like many of last years did.

I did not quit chewing, we were not able to move (though there were some interesting circumstances as to why we didn't that may have been out of our control).  I'm not healthier and though I feel much better I could argue that I'm actually worse off than I was a year ago at this time. I didn't finish my book though I did make pretty good progress and am on the cusp.  I could chalk up all these as failures and I guess I do to a point. However, I learned a lot and I can see why I failed at the majority of my goals from the previous year so for me I'm considering the year a push at worst.  Now, before you get to thinking that I'm just making excuses for why I didn't meet my goals, please hear me out as I explain my reasons for such thinking.

To me, one of the greatest failures a person can achieve in life is to not learn from their mistakes and experiences.  This past year has taught me a great deal and this is why I cannot view 2014 as a complete failure.  My goals for this year have plans, basic as they are.  The plans are not perfect but they're certainly better than shooting from the hip like I attempted to do last year.  Last year I had nothing, not even a semblance of a plan.  I simply wrote my goals and assumed that I'd figure out how to meet them.  I'm hear to tell you a secret; if you don't know already, that shit doesn't work.  A goal without a plan is like a car with wheels and no tires.  You may reach your destination but you're stacking the odds against's yourself from the outset.

Planning helps to reduce excuses for why we can't do things.  Sure there are times when things come up and excuses are actually reasons but I don't believe that's the case the majority of the time.  As an example: Shawna had what we thought was an appendix issue a couple weeks ago.  While it's not solved yet, it wasn't an appendix and may be a gall bladder problem but the point is it threw my gym schedule completely out of whack.  However, because I'm planning it now, I was able to adjust rather than just drop my gym days that week.  It was a pain in the ass to fit the days in but because I had a plan I was able to accomplish my weekly goal.  And that's why plans are so important.  They allow us more flexibility.

This post isn't to pass judgement on whether or not someone meets their goals or "resolutions."  Instead, I felt compelled to write this because I think it could be a game changer for myself, family, and perhaps even you if you're looking for an answer as to why you're having trouble moving past the initial stage.  I could quote a whole bunch of people much smarter than I as to what you should be doing and go into a whole host of other reasons, however, I think planning or lack thereof as it may be, is one of the biggest impediments to progress and one of the easiest to correct.  If you're unsure of how to do it, contact someone who does.  I now have a trainer who writes my workout plans for me because he's a professional at what he does and I'm not.  It costs more obviously but we're building it into our financial plan.  (There's that 'P' word again).  Plan, plan, plan to reach your goals.